My Journey at the Place to 'B', IIM Bangalore - Nabeel Salim
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Nabeel Mohammed Salim is a management graduate from IIM Bangalore and is currently working in an Operations and Supply Chain role in a Retail franchise firm. Prior to his MBA, Nabeel did his Mechanical Engineering from Jadavpure University and worked with Maruti Suzuki India Ltd and State Bank of India. He served as the Secretary of Public Policy Club and Coordinator for Vikasana, the Social service Club in IIM Bangalore. He is an avid follower of national and international happenings in the political sphere as well has a keen interest in macroeconomics. He plans to build a career in operations management.
“Life-changing events are exhilarating and breathtaking” - And this is how I best describe the 2 year sojourn at IIMB. And it is the reason I treasure it to the core of my soul and sit down today to pen the transformative journey among the hallowed walls of IIMB. Before I embark upon this 1000 word monograph, a disclaimer is an imperative need. The experiences which I share and the learnings which I espoused during the stay are pure to the best of my emotions. Some may disagree or may have differentiated view of any aspect of the “Life at B”. The write-up is based on my personal learnings. IIMB is a roller coaster ride, a whirlwind cyclone which with its twists and turns and Shinkansen speed never lets you settle. But like a person who first fears a ride but comes out a more enthusiastic champ after the loop, the life at IIMB is a strong foundation stone and push towards a more confident individual.
Many managers and PGDM grads have inherently highlighted the benefits of project work which infuse in one a sense of working together to develop results akin to a corporate world. What IIMB project groups planted in me was more of an ability to see an individual as a special entity with unique capabilities. The meaning of group work exemplifies when each of the individual contributes to its maximum which creates synergy for manifold output. Each member has a unique style of working which may not be in alignment with you. And I believe this is the reason why B-schools’ curriculum are more project based than individual exams and assignments. It is the cohesion and mutual diffusion of ideas which are critical to one’s learning rather than what we get from buzzing over thick books. It is the application oriented discussion which we have with our peers which help in giving 360 degree view to our discussions.
A subject most oft neglected by us is Organizational Behavior, branded as a “Globe Subject” in IIMB colloquial which means a subject which involves subjective analysis and ample writing in exams. However it is these principles of participative management and collaborative knowledge which helped me to learn the process of understanding human behavior. I was able to apply these techniques more as coordinators for the two student clubs which I was part of. Working with your peers to organize events, the hierarchy should be least of your concern. Rather it is how you involve people and provide sufficient autonomy that helps in bringing out the best of the ones. The best thing about IIMB is the Club culture which exists. Having a galore of around 32 clubs, each with its unique value proposition, they encompass the entire gamut of extra-curricular activities which supplements magnificently the course learnings. With a wide array of interests to choose from, I found pleasure and immense learning while pursuing my interests of teaching as part of the Social Service club and enhanced my knowledge while organizing Public Policy Club activities.
“Before you assume, try this crazy method called asking” – however philosophical it may sound, it actually is a potent tool to develop oneself. The pedagogy in IIMB is discussion based where students are actively encouraged to participate in classroom discussions termed as CP (Class Participation). I must admit that I dreaded CP the most and still to this date the fear exists in a somewhat miniscule form. The fear of asking something silly which may invite laughter, bogged down my curiosity at times. However a couple of weeks into the course, the “asking culture” breeds automatically in one when one finds good diffusion of ideas. Moreover the coercion in terms of grade percentage awarded to CP reinforces this culture among us. A look back at the last two years and I reflect that CP culture has indeed bred in me a person who is more inquisitive, exploring, confident and risk-taking.
It was 2nd of April, 2015 when I landed in Kuwait and little did I realize that my internship there will be a watershed in my understanding of cultures. Working in a multicultural environment, I realized that to be a global manager warrants proper understanding of cultures, more important than all technical knowledge which we garner from books. A company which employs multiple nationalities, indeed gave me an interesting perspective of management. So espoused was I with the experience that I took up Cross cultural management as one of my favorite electives.
Last but not the least, the campus provides you an awesome bunch of friends who help and guide you through the two years tumultuous journey with some ease. As beautiful and scenic the campus at B is, I was fortunate to have even wonderful mates there. Playing tennis late night after 11:59:59 deadline submissions or gulping coffee at night canteen with ‘bakar and adda’ are the memories which are etched forever. Even in the plethora of submissions and alternate day exams with 8 am classes, we never missed out on the fun aspect of the college days. And this is what the pristine institution has gifted me: “Time Management”, a clichéd term which may sound easy but need continuous practice to adapt to in one’s habit.
It is said that all things end in this mortal world. As I stepped out of the campus bidding adieu after my convocation this March, I realized that things do not end, rather they metamorphose themselves into even better forms. IIMB campus life has metamorphosed into an eternal source of learnings for me. Every time I reflect back I garner something new from the experience. Most importantly it provides in me an unending desire to compete, persevere and succeed. And a source for my couplets too
“Tu nai who shama jo pal bhar jal kar, kho jaaye andhere me
Ban aaftaab tu, kar roshan saara jahan “
(You aren’t a flame which dies in the darkness
You are the sun which enlightens the world)
Thank you IIM Bangalore !!